French former president Nicolas Sarkozy went before a judge today to respond to claims that he illegally accepted donations from France's richest woman to fund his 2007 election campaign.
The judge will decide whether Mr Sarkozy, who has denied all allegations, will be charged with taking advantage of the 90-year-old L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Ms Bettencourt's former accountant told police that she had handed over €150,000 (£121,000) in cash she was told would be passed on to Mr Sarkozy's campaign.
The sum shocked many French citizens because spending on political campaigns is tightly limited.
Individual campaign contributions to candidates are limited to €4,600 (£3,700) and no candidate can spend more than €22 million (£17.7m) on an entire presidential campaign.
Ms Bettencourt, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, has since been placed under legal protection.
Mr Sarkozy lost his immunity from prosecution when he lost the presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande.
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